Policy last updated
15 June 2020
Student Exchange Programs:
- are two-way exchanges where students from Victoria study full-time at a school overseas and in return students from an overseas school study full-time in a Victorian school
- do not include the payment of tuition fees due to the program being reciprocal in nature
- range in duration from a minimum of 29 days to a maximum of 12 months
- are managed by registered exchange organisations or schools registered for this purpose
- do not include the hosting of a student as part of a sister school partnership, International Student Program or study tour
- are the responsibility of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA)
Note: Student exchanges that are for less than 28 days do not require the school to be a registered exchange organisation. In addition, this policy does not apply to schools that host students as part of a sister school partnership, International Student Program or study tour. For more information, see the Guidance tab.
For more information including the Student Exchange Guidelines and Application document see VRQA International Education in .
Key features of different visits or exchange programs
In addition to student exchange programs, overseas students visit Victorian schools through other types of programs, including short term study programs, sister schools and the International Student Program. The differences between these types of visits are outlined below.
Sister School partnerships
- Definition: Reciprocal visits negotiated between sister schools where visits include a school experience combined with a cultural tour.
- Visa category: Visitors visa
- Cost / tuition fee arrangements: Cost negotiated between sister schools only a cost recovery basis.
- Further information: School to school arrangement, visiting students are not required to be enrolled on CASES21. Refer to Sister School Partnerships.
Short Term Study Tour Programs
- Definition: Non-reciprocal program where students undertake a mix of structured classroom learning, interaction with local students and excursions.
- Visa category: Visitors visa
- Cost / tuition fee arrangements: Fee structure is set out in Ministerial Order 819.
- Further information: Overseas students need to apply to the Department through accredited study tour operators. Visiting students are not required to be enrolled on CASES21. For more information, refer to Study Tours.
International Student Program
- Definition: Non-reciprocal program where international students are enrolled at Victorian schools to undertake full-time study as an international student for a single term through to number of years. Student categories include standard students (who study for greater than 12 months), study abroad students (who study for one to four terms), dependant students (who are children of parents studying at university) or temporary students (who study for 8-12 weeks).
- Visa category: Various visa categories, however, most students hold a subclass 500 Student — Schools visa
- Cost / tuition fee arrangements: Fees are set out in Ministerial Order 819.
- Further information: international students are required to apply through the Department. For more information, refer to International Student Program.
Student Exchange — VRQA Secondary Student Exchange Program
- Definition: Reciprocal program where an overseas student is enrolled in a school and undertakes full time study.
- Visa category: subclass 500 Student — Schools visa for exchanges longer than 29 days and up to 12 months
- Cost / tuition fee arrangements: Reciprocal program — no tuition fees
- Further information: Schools must operate student exchanges within the VRQA's requirements for registration as an exchange organisation, refer to Student Exchange Programs.
Reviewed 04 March 2020